Report Says MLB to Propose 80 Game Schedule with Expanded Playoffs for 2020

Matt Loede

It won’t be 162, but it looks like Major League Baseball is close to presenting their plan for play for the 2020 season, and in the end it appears the season will go about 80 games.

CBS Sports reports that proposals and counter-proposals will start soon between the MLB and the MLBPA, and hopefully the two sides can come to an agreement so games can begin somewhere around July 1.

CBS Sports HQ's Jim Bowden confirmed that the league and union will have a get together on Monday to chat about a proposal, with the league expected to submit a plan on Tuesday. It has been reported that a plan by MLB was set to be unveiled soon.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal weighed in with some details on what he has heard about the plans for the 2020 campaign, with the season starting in early July with each team set to play 80 games, roughly half of a normal season.

Teams would face “division rivals” and the same geographic division in the other league to keep games as close to home as possible.

For the Indians that would obviously mean games against the likes of Detroit, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Chicago White Sox and Cubs, Toronto and Milwaukee, this is if all these teams play at their respective home stadiums.

Rosenthal also says that in order to cut down on travel and make it easier on players, the organizations themselves and their families that teams would open the season in as many home stadiums as they can.

So how would the playoffs go?

The way it is being proposed according to Rosenthal is that it would be 14 teams making the playoffs, with each league sending seven teams, instead of the current format which has five teams from the AL and NL making it.

If you end the shortened season with the best record, you would have a bye in the first round. More teams being in the playoffs would obviously give the Tribe a better shot at making it, as last season they won 93 games and were shutout of October baseball.

Players are likely going to be asked to take a further pay reduction due to not having fans in the stands as well as the shortened season.

The pay along with various health concerns around the Covid-19 virus would be the biggest obstacles to overcome according to reports.

Players back in March when spring training and then the season was suspended agreed to prorated salaries, which makes asking them to forfeit even more money a likely sticking point.

Earlier ideas had all 30 MLB teams playing in “hubs” like Arizona, Florida and Texas, but those plans are reported to be off the table at this point, as having players away from their families for that long of a stretch is something they don’t want.

Look for there to be a few weeks of spring training in June, and then hopefully with an agreed upon proposal, games to start in July.

Rosenthal reported last week that the Indians were told via a zoom call to be prepared for spring training in June with the season kicking off July 1.

As of now, that could very well still happen if things get moving in the next week between the players and owners.